Daily Digest

Southeast states push back on Trump’s offshore drilling order

OIL AND GAS: 
• President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that could open up water off the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling, drawing opposition from leaders and citizens in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Beaufort Gazette, WABE, Tallahassee Democrat)
• Meanwhile, it is likely the executive order will prompt a lengthy review and legal battle. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• An appeals court grants a delay to legal action challenging the Clean Power Plan, a decision that could make it easier to repeal the rules entirely; West Virginia leaders praise the decision. (Bloomberg, Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• In coordination with the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C., protesters gathered Saturday around the country in support of fighting climate change including Tampa and Fort Lauderdale(Tampa Bay Times, Sun Sentinel)

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NUCLEAR:
• SCANA and Santee Cooper will continue to temporarily pay the bills at the Summer plant while Westinghouse continues its bankruptcy reorganization.  (Aiken Standard)
• Georgia Power said Friday it has extended an agreement with Westinghouse to continue work on the Vogtle plant through at least mid-May. (WRDW-TV)
• A firm that investigated TVA’s Watts Bar nuclear plant says the company edited third-party reports on the plant’s safety culture. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

UTILITIES: American Electric Power’s CEO says the company plans to invest more than a billion dollars in renewable energy sources, but coal will not be phased out. (Exponent Telegram)

PIPELINES: Dominion and environmental groups disagree over damage to mountains in West Virginia and Virginia that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project would cause. (WAJR)

COAL:
• Health care benefits for more than 22,000 coal miners set to expire on April 30 have been extended by Congress until May 5. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Parts of Appalachia may be shifting away from coal toward natural gas. (Washington Examiner)
• Huntington, West Virginia has seen a small uptick in coal activity. (Herald-Dispatch)

COAL ASH: County commissioners in North Carolina could finalize on Monday an agreement with Duke Energy for a water line for more than 150 homes near some of its coal ash ponds. (Salisbury Post)

ADVOCACY: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth released its crowdsourced energy plan for the state. (WFPL)

COMMENTARY:
• An environmental organization says it is the next governor of Virginia’s duty to protect the state from pipeline projects. (Roanoke Times)
A Louisiana lawmaker says “pipelines make modern society possible” and the state’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline will create jobs. (The Advertiser)
South Carolina residents should take better advantage of solar power, which is now the cheapest way to build new electricity generating capacity. (Post and Courier)
Duke is responsible for its coal ash, but it’s inevitable that customers pay a portion of cleanup costs. (News & Record)
A newspaper editorial says the Atlantic Coast is a bad place to get oil and a columnist says drilling is high risk with little in return. (Post and Courier)

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